Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (279, 280)

David Stanton

Ceist:

354 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Health and Children the conditions that were attached to the €857,000 that was provided to the Southern Health Board in 2003 for an expanded service in its area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3753/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

David Stanton

Ceist:

355 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Health and Children, further to Question No. 128 of 29 January 2004, if he will provide additional funding in 2004 to enable a further expansion of the out-of-hours doctor co-operatives service to the areas of the Southern Health Board not having such a service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3754/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health and Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 354 and 355 together.

The additional moneys, €857,000, allocated to the Southern Health Board in 2003 arose out of consideration of revised proposals from that board earlier in the year. This decision was taken after careful consideration of the applications from all boards for the available funding under this heading. The allocation sought and granted covered capital and other part year costs for a start up date later in the year. The expanded service started in 2003.

Allocations to boards for 2004 under the GP development heading included these additional moneys in base funding. Further expansion of the out-of-hours service will be considered in the context of service requirements, health board proposals and funding availability. It will be noted that decisions in respect of the geographical area to be covered in any expansion are matters which fall within the remit of the relevant health board to decide having regard to the strategic, financial and other issues involved.